The Subcommittee on Aviation has jurisdiction over all aspects of civil aviation, including safety, infrastructure, labor, and international issues. This jurisdiction includes all aspects of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) except for research activities, which are within the jurisdiction of the Science Committee.
Prior to the September 11th terrorist attacks, the number of air travelers in the United States had reached record levels and had begun to strain the existing infrastructure capacity. For several years after the attacks, the demand for air travel decreased and the impending capacity crunch was delayed while officials in the Federal government, at the airlines and at airports dealt with many new security issues.
Demand has returned to pre-9/11 levels, however, and the Subcommittee will continue to contend with existing capacity and security concerns, as well as an aging air traffic control system.
The Aviation Subcommittee is also traditionally the lead subcommittee with jurisdiction over the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal agency responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents and other transportation accidents. The essential air service program, which ensures commercial air service to smaller communities, the war risk insurance program, which provides insurance coverage for commercial flights to high-risk parts of the world, and passenger and cargo commercial space transportation also fall within the purview of the Aviation Subcommittee.
The Subcommittee continues to exercise oversight jurisdiction over the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and continues to have jurisdiction over the impacts of transportation security on the aviation industry and aviation safety.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Aviation Subcommittee include: